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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28944
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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My husband is a naturalized US citizen originally from Syria.

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My husband is a naturalized US citizen originally from Syria. He would like to bring his nephew to the US. His nephew, who was born and lived in Syria, until just recently, is now in Beirut, Lebanon. What avenues does he have to come to US? He is telling my husband that we can apply for a visa for him here which I don't see any information on. Would he be applying for a tourist visa? For a nonimmigrant visa, I do not see nephew as an option, just brother or sister.

What is the best way to help him? Should he apply for tourist visa there and we issue an affadavit of support? What are his chances of being allowed to come to US? I did tell him about applying as a refugee because US is allowing some refugees in last year. Do you know of any other means?
Kathleen Essa

Hello Kathleen, my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.


Your research is correct, there is no way for your husband to sponsor a nephew.

He would be the one who has to apply himself via the online application process for the visitor visa.

He will have a difficult time getting that because he has the burden of proving to the consul he has strong and compelling ties to either Syria or Lebanon to which he will return. He is presumed to be an intending immigrant and must overcome that presumption.

Certainly he can apply for the tourist visa and take your husband's I-134 Affidavit of Support, but he needs to be prepared for a refusal.

You were also correct that he should apply as a refugee to come here. There is offices throughout Lebanon for the UNHCR which processes the refugee applications and would refer it to the workers at the US Embassy because of his family ties here.

Let me know what further questions I can answer for you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, Judith. On the I-134, would we just fill that out and send to him and he would include in his application for visa? What would be your suggestion when he applies as refugee that would give him the best chance of being accepted? I see that US is only allowing 2000 refugees from Syria at this time.

Hi Kathleen

You are welcome.

Your nephew would take the I-134 with him on the visa interview.

Kathleen, how old is he?

Would there be any possibility of your family here paying for him to go to school here? What grade level did he complete in Syria?

That is an alternative to the visitor visa which may be more successful. He still has the same burden of proof but it he gets here then he could apply for asylum if he has grounds.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.


He is about 19 or 20. I would have to ask my husband what level of school he has completed for sure but I believe he finished high school but did not attend college. Are you thinking of him applying for a student visa? Can he do that in Lebanon? He is a Syrian citizen so I don't know. Does the Syrian government have to approve student visas?

Yes, I am thinking a student visa might be a better option. He can go to a community college. It does not have to be a university.

He would apply for admission.

Here is the ICE student program step by step guide on how he goes about the process.

To the best of my knowledge Syria does not have to sponsor him.

If that fails then he will have no other option but refugee status and the fact he has relatives in the US is what would give him added advantage.

I understand how bad things are there. My best friend has brought his parents here to get them out of Syria and they had to stay in Lebanon for a couple of weeks before their flight because of the Syrian war.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Judith. You said in your message that here is the ICE student program step by step guide but I did not see an attachment. Where do I go to get that?


Thanks for your kind words.

Oh dear, sorry



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